Design

Five Fun Things

new girl sex scene

Man Repeller just featured 13 haikus on sex in quarantine, which made me laugh out loud. Here’s one: “Like when the pool first / opens, swimsuit on, head-first / then once, twice a month.”

luster book

Raven Leilani’s Luster, one of the most widely anticipated books of the year, came out this week to great fanfare. The smart, witty novel follows Edie, a young Black woman working an admin job in publishing, who finds herself part of a suburban white couple’s open marriage. This summer, I’ve kept starting and stopping books, unable to find anything compelling, but once I read Leilani’s opening line — “The first time we have sex, we are both fully clothed, at our desks during working hours, bathed in blue computer light” — I knew I wouldn’t put this one back down.

shag cake

Have you ever seen a shag cake? This wedding cake, above, looks like a 1960’s rug in the best way. “People love them and always want to touch them,” the baker Kait Winowitch told us. “And the buttercream tastes as good as it looks.”

Jeni's coffee ice cream

At age 41, I started drinking coffee for the first time in my life, and it’s really hitting the spot. (GUYS WHY DIDN’T ANYONE SAY ANYTHING?;) Now I’m wanting all the coffee-flavored treats, including Jeni’s Coffee With Cream and Sugar Ice Cream. Yummmmmmm.

John Derian flowers

Remember John Derian’s Provincetown house tour? I love how he plays around with scale and arranges branches tall enough to touch the low ceilings. Here’s a photo from his Instagram. So inspiring!

P.S. 8 style hacks to steal from movies, and the nerdiest tip.

(Wedding cake photo by Belathée.)

  1. Connie says...

    I stopped after I read the 2nd fun thing, googled the book, bought it on kindle, and read the whole thing before I finished this post. I’d say it’s pretty good!

  2. JH says...

    Oh my goodness. So perfect and my thoughts exactly! Having a shower after another day with 3 small kids and I’m like I can’t do this again tomorrow and then I think of my morning coffee… and I think yip, I’ve got this :)

  3. Claire says...

    Excellent fun things list, as usual. And you are so funny about the coffee! Are you typically a tea drinker? (And have you tried cafe lattes yet? :) )

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I never drink tea, but I’d love to try lattes now! the funny thing is, I worked at a coffee shop all four years of college, so I can make any drink — I just never tried them!

  4. Raquel says...

    Where is the comment about Man Repeller? Joanna asked a question and I was looking forward to reading that thread.

    • Meredith says...

      I actually had the same question! But it’s actually posted under the taco post!

    • Raquel says...

      Thank you, Meredith and Joanna! I did chime in, I hope it helps <3

  5. Emily says...

    haha, I don’t like hot beverages in the morning with breakfast, so my caffeine is iced tea.

  6. Anita says...

    Joanna! I, too, just joined the Coffee Party, at age 33. May I recommend to you one of my current favourites? It is Talenti Gelato COLD BREW COFFEE FLAVOUR! Divine!!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!!

  7. Robin says...

    Wow, I thought I was late starting to drink coffee at age 25! Welcome to the coffee club. I find my taste and tolerance for it fluctuates a lot. Sometimes I want two coffees a day, and sometimes I can only handle a single espresso first thing in the morning. Meanwhile my dad can have 3 – 5 cups a day, and an espresso after dinner.

  8. Jen says...

    One word – AFFOGATO.

    • b says...

      YES!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooooooooh can’t wait to try.

  9. anje says...

    I used to LOVE drinking coffee but then it began to give me heart palpitations so I switched to organic green jasmine tea and now that’s my ritual. Plus people speak about coffee just like I imagine drug addicts speak and it makes me feel weird 😓 But I do like tiramisu and coffee ice cream is soo delicious.

  10. Cynthia says...

    I’ve been drinking coffee since elementary school. I supposedly was allergic to chocolate as a child so I couldn’t drink hot chocolate so my parents let me have coffee with lots of milk and sugar. So I’ve been drinking it for 58 years.

  11. mimi says...

    Ha! My mom started drinking coffee in the past 10 years. Neither of my parents ever drank it growing up, but my siblings and I all started in our teens/20s, and I guess we convinced our mom. Now in her 60’s she has at least 1 latte every day. Never too late to try something new!

  12. Lauren B says...

    next time you’re in Austin (or when they start shipping again…): Amy’s Ice Cream flavor “coffee and donuts” is AMAZING.

  13. K says...

    I took up coffee drinking during quarantine too! Mainly as a way to decrease my diet Dr Pepper consumption.

    Honestly, I still don’t love the taste, but I don’t dislike it any more either. Like a lot of people, what I like most is the ritual. And the caffeine!

  14. Hilary says...

    Welcome to the coffee club! I find this an especially hilarious revelation given the name of this blog.

    Since your fam goes to the Bay Area sometimes, you have to visit Fenton’s, Oakland’s famous ice-cream joint, and get a scoop (or 2 :) of Coffee Cookie Dream! It’s just what it sounds like: coffee ice-cream with crushed up cookies (Oreos – be still my heart) and cookie dough. It’s the most decadent thing, like a cookie dipped in a hot latte, and will indeed later visit you in your dreams.

    We lived in SF for 8 years and it was always worth a trip over the bridge for a scoop of CC Dream and a walk around Oaktown!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yum, sounds so good!

  15. Lauren E. says...

    The cake looks moldy to me… 😬

  16. Neha says...

    Jo – would you ever consider doing a patreon for this series? I know that it is popular and I think you mentioned earlier that is very expensive to produce. I cannot tell you how helpful and fascinated I am by this series – I read it before I had kids and now I have two and I still constantly think about it! I would definitely join that and it could enable you to continue to create something amazing with funding!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hi! what a sweet note, thank you so much for your support! we’re actually fine producing it (it’s not that expensive, it just takes a lot of production time behind the scenes). the reason we aren’t doing it this year is that during quarantine, people aren’t leaving the house, going to school, experiencing their cities, etc., so it’s not typical life — we feel that the series won’t be the same if everyone is just talking about staying home :) we will definitely bring it back next summer, assuming life is back (at least a little bit) to normal! xoxo thank you again for your really kind note.

  17. Em says...

    A haiku to coffee:

    My last thoughts at night/like Christmas morn on repeat/anticipation

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha love this! (and love that anticipation is five syllables)

  18. Connie says...

    You’ve only now started drinking coffee?! Oh, giiiiiiiiiirl. Welcome to the club. We’re mostly highly caffeinated. Trader Joes sells these neat coffee-flavored caramels that are amazing. They are tiny and have these foil wrappers. I can’t think of the name. It’s not a trader joes brand. Sigh. Maybe someone will help me out here.
    Anyways…I thought I was really clever and thought I had “tricked” my folks into letting me drink coffee back when I was a seventh grader. I tried Breyers Coffee ice cream on a lark back then and loved it so, so much I knew I had to figure out how to get my parents to let me drink the Real Thing…I would fake a sore throat casually in the morning so my dad would pour me a cup with lots of cream and sugar to remedy it. Eventually, I noticed my dad just put out a third mug alongside his and mom’s in the morning every morning. I thought I was so smart. Years later my dad told me he really loved the ritual of him and me sipping our coffee talking about how our days were going to go, a means of touching base with his almost-a-teen daughter that probably became a foot-in-the-door through all of my adolescence. Now, in my late thirties, whenever I’m visiting my folks, I make sure to be up early enough to have a cup with my dad before he heads out for work.

  19. awads says...

    Am I the only one who does not like John Derian’s house? I feel like he needs to scrape the wallpaper and paint. I could not live like that!

    I need that shag cake in my life, though!

    • Heidi says...

      I think it’s beautiful in photos but I have a feeling if I walked in there I’d be so sneezy! Everything looks loose and dusty. Beautiful, but dusty!

    • Cynthia says...

      His house makes me feel better about my sewing room because the paper needs to come down, but I will have two layers including the ceiling to scrape. Scraping paper wallpaper is no fun because the wheat paste they used years ago is like super glue. I know because I scraped two layers off the living room walls and ceiling, the dining room walls and ceiling, and the guest bedroom walls and ceiling. As we finished off the unfinished upstairs, we put in sheet rock and painted. I don’t like wallpaper.

  20. Emily says...

    Friendly and totally non-critical suggestion – consider switching out the word “GUYS” for more inclusive language!

    My company uses Slack and recently started using a ‘bot’ that auto-informs you when you are using language that isn’t inclusive and suggests a replacement word. “Guys” has been flagged about a zillion times (along with the word “crazy”). Really interesting once you become aware of how deeply words like that are steeped in our language.

    Just food for thought. :)

    • KA says...

      This is such a thoughtful comment. I just read an article about this as well. They offered many gender-neutral suggestions to use in place of “Guys”. Being from Texas we use Ya’ll A LOT. I like team (for the workplace) and friends.

      My sister loves coffee but not coffee flavored ice cream and I can’t understand it. All things coffee for me. :-)

    • B says...

      This. 🙌 Crazy in particular bothers me, because it is generally only used to describe women, and because it serves to perpetuate a stigma around mental health issues.

    • Jill says...

      I always thought guys in that context meant 2 or more people* that the person is addressing….
      * of any gender

    • Amber says...

      @Jill- that is how it’s used, but that doesn’t make it inclusive or ok. “Guys” has an originally gendered male meaning, and in this context is being used to address a group of people who don’t necessarily identify as guys–the intention may not be to gender people or exclude people, but it may have unintended consequences (intention vs impact). In general, regardless of you mean it, if you’re addressing people by a gendered term, it’s not inclusive. The other issue I personally have with it is how patriarchal our language is. Womxn and people who don’t identify as male have to conform to this man’s world in so many ways, and even get grouped in with a term that literally means “men.” Why aren’t we addressing a mixed-gender room of people as “gals”?? Can you imagine saying, in all seriousness, to a group of male coworkers “hey ladies, let’s discuss XYZ.” I mean honestly it would be amazing (the fragile male egos!), but we’re not there, so until we are, I think more inclusive language is necessary.

    • Lily says...

      I am all for examining the language we use and changing that which is problematic, and I am not here to die on the hill of defending “guys” – but, ok, I do want to put in a word for it.

      We (users of English) have taken many terms once coded as male (like terms for professions: doctor, actor) and made them gender-neutral. The words themselves were never a problem; society’s understanding of these professions as male only was the problem.

      Likewise “guys” doesn’t have to mean men if we don’t want it to. There’s nothing inherently male in the word, and it’s almost universally understood as gender inclusive (oh, the number of times it was used to address groups in my all-girls high school. See also: dude.) “Guys” is generally used to refer to generic, default humans – so it’s not necessarily a language issue, but an issue of viewing male as the default. There is so much problematically gendered language to extricate from our usage, but maybe, maybe??, we can claim “guys” for all?

  21. Kate says...

    Rachel I don’t think that’s the meaning of “shag” that the Brits are opposed to :) :)

  22. K says...

    I don’t drink coffee and will turn 40 this year. I can’t stand anything coffee flavoured and find coffee itself is too bitter. I drink black tea religiously, but I am slightly jealous of the ritual of coffee. My partner is an addict and I enjoy the smell but the taste, yuck!

  23. Jinny says...

    A little CBD oil, cream, and cinnamon makes a heavenly Cup of Jo. ;) Try decaf so you don’t get too anxious!

  24. Anon says...

    Fascinated that you are drinking coffee Now! I would be so curious to read a post on it… like when and why you started, how you feel (physically), what you like most/least about it… etc etc.
    I am in my 40’s and have quit drinking coffee for over a year now! Oh, but how I missed it the first while!!!!!

  25. That shag cake is weird. Not for me.

  26. Charlotte says...

    Jo – Any plans to bring back your “motherhood around the world” series? I miss it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We were planning to bring it back this summer but because of quarantine we thought we would wait another year. Peoples lives are so different from usual, and we wanted to portray what life is normally like in each country. Hope that makes sense!

    • Jinny says...

      I miss it too! It would be interesting to read this series even during the pandemic because we’d be able to see how different places are handling it. I’d love to see what new quirks are a result of the changes, and what motherhood and life is like around the world right now. Here in Las Vegas, not so good, haha.

    • jackie says...

      totally agree! I would love to see how different families are handling the pandemic in different parts of the world. I think it would make for a truly unique series and maybe even give some families ideas for how to make the time pass? I am not even a mom and this is one of my favorite series you do- I miss it!

    • Em says...

      Hi, I would truly love this too — a “Pandemic Around the World” series! Either with or without a parenting focus. What a special, human, fascinating, connecting read that would be. And almost like a record/contribution to future history books. Cup of Jo has the perfect tone to make this brilliant. Please consider it, Jo and team! :)

    • Charlotte says...

      That makes sense, thanks for responding. I wouldn’t mind if you still published the series with a “this was written before Covid” disclaimer. I think we could all use a break from pandemic life, it might be fun to revisit our world before disaster hit.

  27. M says...

    Welcome to coffee, the great love of my life! I’ve cut way back while pregnant to just one tiny latte a day, but it’s still a bright spot in a gloomy world.

    When I first started dating my husband I asked him if it bothered him that I don’t drink alcohol (I’m nine years sober). He said he couldn’t care less, but that if I didn’t drink coffee it would be a dealbreaker! I’m sure that’s not quite true but our shared love of coffee as a daily ritual is something we love doing together and love about each other.

    • rachel simmons says...

      Thats so cute! I agree, my husband and i love coffee together. its a ritual. part of our lives… coffee is cultural, that’s why its so deeply loved by many <3

  28. Jennifer says...

    Lol, welcome to coffee! Magical bean juice.

  29. Abesha1 says...

    My kids and I just discussed my
    morning espresso today, which is funny timing! I told my youngest, I didn’t drink it regularly til after he was born… and then I told my oldest, I didn’t drink it DAILY until i had to get him to school every day.
    LOL

  30. rachel simmons says...

    I’ve been singing coffee’s praises for many a decade… i love EVERYTHING about it. The ritual, the smell, the anticipation, the warmth, the consistency, the nostalgic aspect of it… its LIFE.

    • Adrienne says...

      Yes…the RITUAL of coffee! It’s my favorite thing about it. Grinding beans, boiling water, waiting for the French press, picking a mug. It’s become the best thing about morning, especially now that I’m home and making my own coffee seven days a week. Love.

    • Kirsten says...

      No joke, after I finish my allotted morning cup I sometimes just can’t wait to go to bed that night so I can get up the next morning and have that moment again

    • rachel simmons says...

      mmm yes!!! i love it all, the smell is prob better then the taste.

    • Lauren E. says...

      The ritual of coffee!! You nailed it. I’ve been working from home during COVID and my husband will say, “Why do you wake up so early when you don’t have to?” But that 7AM hour with just me, the freshly ground beans, the hot, milky coffee, and one episode of something mindless on TV is the joy of my day.

    • Britt says...

      I love this particular comment thread. Former Seattlite here and this warms my heart.

    • Amber says...

      After I nurse our 14 month old in the AM, my husband takes him downstairs and starts the coffee, and I get to linger in bed a little longer. But most days, as I’m laying there with the prospect of a little bit more precious sleep ahead of me, all I can think about is the coffee being made downstairs! I hear the grinder, the whistle of the kettle, the scent as it starts to brew in the French press, and I literally can’t stay in bed, no matter how tired I still am! I look forward to tomorrow’s cup all day! My favorite coffee though, is camping. Waking up in the cool, quiet forest, the steam coming off the cup, the scent of fresh strong coffee mixing with nature smells. A cup of camping coffee, no matter the quality, is one of life’s greatest pleasures!

    • Kate Gilles says...

      Yes, Kirsten! I have the same reaction to finishing my morning cup.

  31. Jo says...

    Welcome to coffee! Here’s the thing about coffee, especially for a parent, and ESPECIALLY during a pandemic: it’s a ritual just for me. No one else can drink my coffee (it’s caffeinated), no one else can touch my coffee (it’s too hot), and no one else even wants my coffee (because I make it exactly how only I like it), every morning, no matter what. Can’t say that about much else in life right now. Enjoy! :)

  32. Heather says...

    I’m Team No Coffee (bye Joanna!). I can’t stand the taste, and the smell reminds me of body odor. Maybe it’s like the cilantro thing? But my outlier status means more for the rest of you!

  33. K says...

    i hope/don’t think i’ll ever drink coffee but love love coffee ice cream ever since my 4th grade teacher said it was her favorite…let’s see in another 12 years!

    wow that book sounds like the perfect guilty pleasure

    wow that cake looks delicious

    wow those ceiling-scratching bouquets!

  34. Leah says...

    Jeni’s coffee with cream and sugar is THE BEST coffee ice cream in the world. There’s no comparison; it will forever ruin you on any other coffee ice creams. And I say this as a non-coffee-drinker.

  35. Andrea says...

    TBH coffee ice cream is 1000x better than actual coffee.

  36. Ren says...

    How could I forget John Derian’s house tour. I think it’s my favourite one ever. I was just swooning over every room. As soon as I saw the floral arrangement I knew they would be his.

  37. Meghan says...

    I thought I was the only grown-up who didn’t drink coffee! I like coffee-flavoured things (ice cream, tiramisu), but the idea of drinking a whole cup of it – meh. My dad says that my tastebuds haven’t matured yet. Since I turned 40 this year, if it hasn’t happened yet I doubt it will happen at all.

  38. Hope says...

    Joanna! We tried to tell you about coffee but you said it made your anxiety worse! I’m guessing in 2020 you maxed out on anxiety and now coffee is an option? LOL. Welcome to the party.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha yes! that’s essentially what happened.

    • Celeste says...

      Congrats on making it all the way to 41 without needing it. I lost at 19 :)

    • Heidi says...

      I feel like 2020 is the year where coffee has reversed my anxiety. The ritual and the comfort and knowing it’s always there. Who knew? ;)

  39. Sara says...

    Coffee flavored everything for the win! Also, I LOVE the oversized arrangements but just thought I’d throw it out there to anyone is considering foraging a similar arrangement- make sure you’re picking Queen Anne’s Lace and NOT giant cow parsley. Like QAL, cow parsley grows all along the roads and fields in the northeast but it can cause absolutely heinous skin irritation/burns (Google it if you love really gross photos). I once heard a horror story of a DIY bride, her foraged bouquet and lots and lots of boils so proceed with caution if you’re inspired to create something similar.

    • Charlotte K says...

      That happens to me with Coleus!!!

  40. liz says...

    Love the look of those beautiful arrangements (!), but don’t you worry that you’d need to cut so much of the tree/bush that you’d completely ruin the plant?

    • Emily L says...

      Hi Liz – it’s a Lilac and they are HUGE!! There are so many of them up in the northeast that you could even cut just one or two branches from multiple trees, but if not it would probably still be fine. Sadly I found out the hard way this year that I am allergic to them when I tried to bring a (smaller) arrangement into my house…. So I’ll just enjoy from the window!

  41. alison says...

    oh god – have I reached the point of Quarantine when I order $100 of delivery ice cream?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha maybe! on a similar note, we actually just discovered some amazing frozen food – ipsa provisions – https://eatipsa.com. have you ever heard of them? they’re really good and taste like your mom froze you homemade meals.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      PS this is not an ad! :)

    • Greta says...

      Omg, Ipsa looks amazing! Does anyone know of a similar service in the Boston area? I would love some homemade meals (that I didn’t prep) that I could pull out of the freezer every now and then.

    • Meg says...

      Do ittttt Alison!

    • Elizabeth says...

      lol think of it as an “investment” :)

      if you need any enabling, there’s a Jenny’s near us. SO good.

    • Jackie Korey says...

      SO worth it- their brambleberry pie ice cream is hands down my favorite of all time.

    • alison says...

      the day that gourmet delivery like that hits my midwestern city… SIGH!

    • celeste says...

      I’ve already ordered $50 worth of Cameron Diaz’s new wine. Enjoy Alison.

  42. Betsy says...

    At age 42 I gave up coffee and switched to tea (Bigelow, cinnamon stick) when I was recently diagnosed with acid reflux and found the switch surprisingly easy. But the ice cream looks delicious.

    • Jo says...

      Welcome to coffee! Here’s the thing about coffee, especially for a parent, and ESPECIALLY during a pandemic: it’s a ritual just for me. No one else can drink my coffee (it’s caffeinated), no one else can touch my coffee (it’s too hot), and no one else even wants my coffee (because I make it exactly how only I like it), every morning, no matter what. Can’t say that about much else in life right now. Enjoy! :)

  43. Christina says...

    I love the shag cake trend! I dug deep into Kait’s instagram archives and found that yes, she was inspired by Alana Jonesmann – I thought Alana was the shag cake pioneer and I was glad to have this confirmation. @alanajonesmann on Instagram for anyone who’s interested in seeing more!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they’re so gorgeous!

    • A says...

      Yes! I came here to comment that Alana was the shag cake pioneer! I love Kait’s instagram though, and happy to see she’s a fellow Seattleite!

  44. Colleen says...

    I am going through fertility and decided to give up coffee. I miss it every day. It’s been over a year. Once a month I treat myself to a decaf and it’s amazing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sending all the best wishes for you, colleen. hope you are doing okay xoxo

    • Macauley says...

      All the best and lots of love Colleen – that’s hard stuff. Made all the harder without coffee! xo

    • Kate Englund says...

      I gave up coffee for my first (less so for my second). It was fine, but when i fully returned to it my overwhelming feeling was, “So this is what it is to be human.”

  45. Tania says...

    Welcome to the coffee club! I remember a post from a while back where you talked about what would be hardest to give up — sugar, coffee, or alcohol (I think it was those three?) and you wrote that Alex was horrified at the suggestion of giving up coffee but that you didn’t drink it. I considered gently scolding you at the time but anyway I’m glad you’ve finally made it to the dark side :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha yes! his answer was one of the reasons I wanted to start drinking it. it lives up to the hype!

  46. Jona Hilario says...

    One advantage to living in Columbus is you can buy Jeni’s pints at the local grocery for $7 on sale. I know it’s still expensive for ice cream but it’s Jeni’s and it’s so rich a pint lasts us quite a while.

    • Erin says...

      So true! There’s ONE advantage to living in CBUS!

  47. Lorraine says...

    What did you just say about coffee?! :D It’s funny, we feel like we know you so well, but then we learn this about you just now?! Haha, glad you are enjoying it. You *and* Anderson Cooper!

  48. Em says...

    I pre-ordered Luster, only the second-time I’ve ever pre-ordered a book in my lifetime, based on the number of writers I adore who were raving about it in advance! It showed up on my Kindle today, I think I’m going to dive in tonight :D

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      me too!!! I ordered it to arrive on the day it came out (tuesday). I’m already almost done, it’s so good.

  49. Stef says...

    Maybe it’s cos I’m English but Shag Cake???

    • George says...

      lol that was my reaction too

    • Meg says...

      Hahaha, made me LOL too! I guess it doesn’t mean the same thing in the US!

    • K says...

      LOLLL

      do you also find it odd when we love talking about cute pants?

    • rachel simmons says...

      right?? i agree… feels like there are fleas hiding in there… lol

    • C says...

      :D :D :D same! I guess there’s a cake for every occasion.

    • Alice says...

      Haaaahaha SAME. Particularly after the sex haikus and the book recommendation… I nearly choked on my cup of tea!